To further your introspection about careers and the workplace, read the thought-provoking Huffington Post entry by the business psychologist and psychotherapist Douglas LaBier, The 4.0 Career Is Coming…Are You Ready? I took an engaging continuing education class taught by LaBier in 1999 for the Smithsonian Associates, in Washington. He also blogs for Psychology Today. His 4.0 post outlines the different stages of careers. In some ways, the ladders from 1.0 to 4.00 are reminiscent of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. LaBier starts with the most basic to the most evolved (and for many, elusive) 4.0, which reaches beyond the 3.0 search for meaning, purpose and balance in one’s work to assuring that it has a positive impact on others. “In essence,” LaBier writes, “the 4.0 careerist is motivated by a sense of service to and connection with the larger human community through the product or service he or she contributes to.” With high unemployment, work in the 3.0 and 4.0 spheres may seem like an unattainable luxury for many. Yet considering work in LaBier’s framework is a useful exercise to help us think about and determine what we really want from how we spend so much of our time and effort. And even if a career of this type may not be possible now, it doesn’t mean that always will be the case. LaBier also provides a list of 10 points “to assess yourself and your work environment in relation to the 4.0 careerist.” Some of these can be thought of as best-case scenarios; the type of work environment you’d like to aim for, but that probably does not exist in many places. Then again, if you are in the right position, you can work towards creating these ideal environments, for you and others. One final thought: 4.0, as evolved as it is, probably isn’t the ultimate. What will constitute the 5.0 Career, and beyond?